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Who for sewer?

We are one of the lucky 250 households to get the official "Change your sewer line or else" letters. We have gotten 3 quotes each about $2000 apart. We are looking at the cheapest bid and am wondering if anyone has dealt with Shelton Excavating for this type of project. In doing the bid, they were professional, timely and knowledgeable so they seem like a decent choice, especially since they are $2000 cheaper than the next quote.


Hi Mark,

We live in Superior so we haven't received one of the coveted letters but we did have to replace our water line a few months ago and used Shelton. I was referred to them by a co-worker who had their sewer line replaced by them. Of course, the biggest draw was that they were reasonably priced, it was $1500 instead of the $2000 bid we got from another company. It took about two months to get the work finished, they were in and out in a matter of hours. However, I know the job was delayed because of a plummer they had backing out on them several times as well as a number of family issues they've been having. The work just got done in December and I think they did a good job. Even though there was a delay in getting the work done, I would still use the company again and recommend them as I don't think the delays were their fault. On a last note, I would advise anyone to avoid the company known as Stack Brothers at all costs. They were the first people we talked to and while I don't want to get too long-winded about it, let's just say I was willing to pay $800 more to our second bid than to have Stack Brothers do the work. Anyway, hope this helps!


I feel for you.

Do you know if there is a number you can call and find out if your house is on the list?

I think you could call Comfort Systems and ask for Sandy Maas. SHe is the Project Manager for this and seems to be very helpful.

AngiesList just started up in Duluth so it is free to sign up (for now). I put in a request for info on Shelton Excavating, not sure if they will have anything or not yet, if they come back with something I'll post it here.

Shelton did a couple of jobs for relatives of mine. Slam bam thank you mam but that covers most excavating businesses. Shelton has been doing various kinds of sewer work for quite a few years. It's not like it takes a genius to put in a sewer line. Cripes the whole job shouldn't cost over $2000. You can rent a machine to dig the trench for about $500 and that includes having the digger delivered and picked up.

In general when you get a bid that is more than 20% above the next lowest bid, the high contractor either 1) picked up something in their bid that the low folks missed (complications that will increase costs) or 2) already has so much work they don't need more, so they throw out a super high bid and if you take it they are laughing all the way to the bank.

If you really have 3 bids that are each 2k apart, I'd talk to each contractor and see what they view the scope of work as including, chances are you'll get different answers.

Also, its possible the low bidder is unlicensed/uninsured, but it doesn't sound like that is the case here.

Do you have a sump pump? It is possible that the 'inflow' that the city observed is coming from your foundation drains. I would highly encourage you let the city pay to install one. Then make them re-observe the sewer line to determine if the line is still flowing when no plumbing is in use in the house.

Thanks for the feedback. We do have a sump pump that was paid for the city last year. Now we and about 80 % of our neighbors will have new sewer lines by fall. A word to the wise - at the planning meeting it was said that 90% of Duluth residents will have this same situation within the next 8 years.

That might leave me wistful for having moved--our old neighborhood down near Lester Park was one of the ones where the city re-lined the sewer connectors a couple years ago.

Hey Mark

Just wanted to let you know that I have used Shelton Excavating for a new water and sewer line in the east end and they were superb. Also, I have had a few friends use them for different reasons and they have had the same experience. Best of luck!



I had Shelton Excavating involved in the construction of my new home. They were extremely professional and handled every need I askedof them. Very competivley priced. I would highly recommend them.

Eric Nelson

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